Saturday, January 20, 2007

Computer Desk Continues

Well I got the shop cleaned out and it was not as onerous as I expected. It was a lot of little stuff all over the place. But then I have always believed in a place for everything and everything all over the place. Dad's old jointer (and the term is jointer no matter what this spell checker says) is up and running. It works just fine. I will have to make up some feather boards for it and my table saw but that will only take a few minutes.

I spent one entire evening last week going through the cut list and making up a checklist just to make following the plan easier. There is so much to think about that seemed to be the only way to keep it straight. I also don't want to scribble all over the plan because I may want to reuse it or loan it out to someone. My friend Glenn at work is quite interested in seeing how this turns out.

The plan for today is to bring in the lumber from the garage and get all the rough cuts done. Then comes the fiddly part making the parts cutting dadoes rabbets, tenons all the stuff Norm makes look so easy. It's fiddly because you have to do the set up, then test the cuts and fit, re set up and on and on. (Also not shown in Norm's half hour show too many garage words probably.) Norm shows you that it is done because he will usually show the last test where everything fits, and there is no need for garage words. Depending on how far I get today there may be a second post of this scintillating story tomorrow. I know you can hardly contain yourself. If things go well there might even be pictures but that is a big might.

Well I have a busy day ahead so that's it for now.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Computer Desk Part Deux

Well I took the plunge on my project. As it turns out I should have made the desk as soon as I got the plans it would have been cheaper by half. The reason I could not get Mahogany last time out was the Tsunami two years ago. It virtually wiped out the supply. Yesterday I was able to get it but it was costly. Nearly a thousand dollars for all the wood. When I priced it out originally it would have cost about 600 bucks. So apparently procrastination has a price.

The idea of using Pine went out the window when I saw what they had in that department. There was wood, lots of it, full of holes and so twisted and warped that it wold have cost 3 times the price just to get enough straight stuff. I also looked at oak. It was cheaper than mahogany but I only have 2 x 10 joists in my house. I also like the look of Mahogany better. So that's my choice.

The next step is to set up and get Dad's old joiner working. It has to be nearly as old as me but I don't think it has that much mileage on it. He gave it to me when he was downsizing a lot of years back. Since they have downsized one more time since then I really should get it set up and running properly. So that is the task for the week, clean out the shop and get the joiner working. (Ok maybe clean out the shop is the job for the week. Getting the joiner working might be next week.)

I reviewed the tape of the New Yankee workshop where Norm made the desk. He skips over some parts where the plans are a bit unclear. It is like he is saying "You should know how to do this if you are any kind of wood worker at all". But I re-read the plan for the 500 th time and I think I can understand it now.

Heart Pine is recycled old growth pine which is why I couldn't find it at the local Totem Lumber store. The reason Norm has a zillion bucks worth of tools is a) because PBS buys them for him and b) he needs them to dress recycled lumber and c) to make everyone who watches him jealous. The reason he can finish a project like this in half an hour is because he has a zillion bucks worth of tools. Take his big industrial belt sander, he was able to surface sand the entire desk top in one pass. He did say that it could also be done with a belt sander and a random orbital sander but it would take longer. Yeah right, he left out the part where it would take more "garage words" too. Oh, "garage words" a term coined by my Aunt. Her husband is a an old car buff and when he is working on them and the wrench slips off the nut he will sometimes use what my Aunt calls "garage words". I don't think I need to provide examples.

That's all I know for sure today. I will keep you posted.